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It’s been an uphill battle for fish in the Deschutes River — their historic numbers have fallen due to the construction of dams and diversions that have disrupted their native habitat. But this year a project to help recover their numbers is finally showing signs of success.

Although sales for bonds to fund refurbishment of the Wallowa Lake Dam were supposed to begin this month, the Oregon Legislature had to put that on hold for a year because the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp drop in Oregon Lottery revenue.

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Seventeen environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Spokane Riverkeeper, oppose Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson's $33.5 billion salmon recovery plan, saying it would set a "terrible and dangerous precedent" for the rest of the nation. Simpson tells the Capital Press it seems conservation groups "are more concerned about ending litigation ... than actually helping the fish."

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“I’m sure you’re all kind of wondering why the hell I kicked the hornet’s nest,” Simpson, an Idaho Republican, said during a Food Producers of Idaho conference call.